From Steampunk to Dreamy in One Fell Swoop

This photo surprise me, fo’sho! I started out going for a  sci-fi, kind of steampunk effect in my processing… and ended up with surreal, dreamy, otherwordly. Go figure! The thing that got me going in the first place – and I mean when I photographed this – were the roots. They just looked so strange. I went to this spot on a thunderstormy evening hoping for a rad sunset… but that never happened. So I focused on shapes and foreground – and went vertical because of how the tree so nicely framed everything.


As I was working on it, the steampunk thing kept looking too crunchy… so I went experimenting in Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Photolooks plugin in Photoshop. When I get stuck, I’ll do that. Just try stuff I wouldn’t normally think of. And lo and behold, of all things a filter called Romance gave me a whole new idea about this one. I think of it as Maxfield Parrish meets Esher. More Parrish than Esher I suppose. Anyway, it’s SO different from what I’ve been doing lately that I just loved it!

Seems I’m doing “different” alot lately. You know how you get stuck sometimes and wonder if you’ll EVER get out of the spin cycle? Yeah, me too. And was my reality selection for a few weeks that seemed neverending. It even choked me up on my blog posts. Argh! But I had a little breakthrough recently – and I SO love it when life imitates art – then informs art! HeeHee. Fun.

Which brings me to a question… have you ever been stuck or in a rut and had a breakthrough? How did it happen? I’m always curious how people handle this inevitable bit of creative living. 😀

3 thoughts on “From Steampunk to Dreamy in One Fell Swoop

  1. Hello Karen,
    Your artistic vision as seen in your photography speaks to my soul! The end result of what your eye sees, combined with the choice of editing skills you use to bring your vision to life, are strikingly beautiful. I’m especially drawn to your photographs of New Zealand. Recently, husband and I spent 18 months there as missionaries, and although I loved what we were doing, I was frustrated that I didn’t get a chance for more photography, and when I did get to shoot, it was something I had to do as an afterthought, kinda like shooting out a car window!!! I could never plan a photo trip to be in the right place, during the right time. Sigh! I did however, enter the Auckland Photography Festival and won second place, which was fun. HERE’s the photo. I will be following your blog and work for inspiration, admiration and contemplation! P.S. At one time did you live in Idaho and teach photography??

  2. “You know how you get stuck sometimes and wonder if you’ll EVER get out of the spin cycle? ”

    I have a motto. Go Play!
    If you feel that your processing or even your selection of shots are becoming rote, I think it is time that you go have a little fun, break the barriers, do something/anything different with the thought in the back of your mind that you are just playing. With that attitude and desire to see something that you have not seen before, you can’t go wrong. And besides, you just might come out with pleasant surprises like this.
    Now, go play!

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